Badass Because: • Ali hails from Pakistan, where chefs aren’t nearly as respected as they are in the West (there isn’t even a word for "chef" in Urdu, only "cook"). She started cooking as a way to connect with her father after her parents’ divorce, and discovered the Culinary Institute of America through a random Google search. Even though all her friends were applying to Ivy League schools, she remained committed to becoming a chef, got accepted, and excelled. • She appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, and even though she wasn’t able to try her food in one round that revolved around pork-based olive loaf, she took the win, and with it $10,000. • She’s only 23 years old!